The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) made a comeback to the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Students’ Union after 15 years on Sunday, bagging the post of the joint secretary in the Left-dominated campus. The RSS-affiliated student body, fresh from its stunning victory in the Delhi University elections, also finished a close second on two of the top four posts.
The Left-backed All India Students’ Association (AISA), which has been sweeping JNU polls for the last two years, managed to bag only two positions — vice-president and general secretary — losing the top post of president to All India Students’ Federation (AISF), another Left-wing body.
The new union will have AISF’s Kanhaiya Kumar as president, AISA’s Shehla Rashid Shora and Rama Naga as vice-president and general secretary, respectively, while ABVP’s Saurabh Sharma will be the joint secretary.
“Kanhaiya Kumar won the post of JNUSU president, securing a total of 1,029 votes. He defeated AISA’s Vijay Kumar who polled 962 votes, losing by a margin of 67 votes,” chief election commissioner for the polls Praveen Thallapelli said.
Saurabh Sharma won the post of joint secretary by a margin of 28 votes, defeating AISA candidate Hamid Raza. The right-wing ABVP stood second in the vote count for the posts of vice-president and general secretary, losing them to AISA candidates.
“ABVP’s win in JNU shows students want to align with nationalist forces. Many students are joining us as they saw a change in 2014 which they want in their campus also,” said Sharma.
ABVP’s last presence in JNU central panel was in 2000 when Sandeep Mahapatra won the president’s post by one vote. “Students have realised that they need to align themselves with nationalist forces. This is why ABVP has made a comeback in JNU. It has been consistently increasing its vote share in the campus for many years now,” Mahapatra, who also held the joint secretary’s post in 1999, told HT.